Hybrigenics, Servier Extend PactBy
Hybrigenics, a biopharmaceutical company with a focus on research and development of new treatments for proliferative diseases, has extended its partnership with Servier to discover new drugs that inhibit ubiquitin-specific proteases (USPs).
Ubiquitins are small intracellular regulatory peptides which, when “stuck” by ligases to proteins, “label” them for destruction by the proteasome, the protein “shredder” present in each living cell. The role of deubiquitinylating enzymes (DUBs is to remove ubiquitins from proteins, preventing them from degradation): DUBs are “protein-recycling” enzymes. The class of USPs is part of the wider family of DUBs. Some USPs can recycle oncoproteins, the proteins involved in cancer initiation or progression. Inhibiting such USPs results in the forced degradation of oncoproteins and therefore in a new mechanism of anticancer action.
The companies’ initial partnership was formed in October 2011. Hybrigenics reached the first research milestone of approximately EUR 4.3 million (4.9 million) in January 2014. The companies extended the partnerships for an additional year for EUR 0.92 million ($1.04 million).